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The Bitter Truth

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The Bitter Truth

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 12 Feb 2018 6:14 pm

Or "Why Asia's Tigers Suffer while the Nordics Thrive"

A series of 5 articles written by a Singaporean using the pen name of Justin Hugo. It long and filled with charts and facts and footnotes/links and is a very interesting read that can take an hour or more just to get through it but I found it extremely informative if somewhat down on Singapore without seeming to do so. Or, maybe it just the facts when comparing an equal number of Nordic countries with the Asian Tigers.

#1 https://international.thenewslens.com/article/88742

#2 https://international.thenewslens.com/article/89122

#3 https://international.thenewslens.com/article/89127

#4 https://international.thenewslens.com/article/89138

#5 https://international.thenewslens.com/article/89516

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby Strong Eagle » Mon, 12 Feb 2018 10:38 pm

Interesting themes that the USA would be wise to look at.

a) Extreme income inequality
b) Concentration of wealth in the hands of a few

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 13 Feb 2018 12:34 am

For me, I kindof guage how well the system of a country is working simply by talking to their nationales. Not scientific by any means but hey, this is social science. The Nordics that I had interfaced with and even befriended, they seem to be rather well-adjusted and balanced people. In their approach to life. And I would attribute it to the environment/values they are exposed to.

Among the Nordics, Sweden’s top families also have significant control in the top 20 largest firms – 55 percent – but the developed culture of collective bargaining for workers’ wages and a transparent democratic structure might serve to limit the families’ ability to expand their wealth at the expense of workers.


Countries like Taiwan and SG (Chinese dominated) also have large numbers of family-dominated business. And why are they more steeped in cronyism than their nordic counterparts? The former may have developed its economy but not its culture. Democratic values !

How you do one thing is how you do everything. Democractic values are steeped in egalitarianism. From the very basic belief that everyone (not just those in position of power) deserves to get their voices heard all the way to noble ideals that everyone deserves dignity, civil liberty and justice.

And what are the opposites of democratic behaviors? Censorship, lack of transparency, lack of accountability, curtailing of freedom, use of threats and punishment to elicit desired behaviors.

The regressiveness that is LHL.

It was Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong who famously said: “I would not believe that transparency is everything” when discussing the government’s management of investment funds (which the country’s national pension funds are transferred into).

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 13 Feb 2018 1:32 am

The fundamental lack of awareness and understanding of democracy in SG. Even though it is weaved into the daily pledge that they recite at school. Another one of those going-thru-the-motion-without-understanding scenario. Just because it might have helped some anecdotely, does it justify its existence (detention without trial)? Such a slippery slope. Or is this a case of mistaking correlation for causation? And their success be attributed to preventive and rehabilitative work?

SG has a long way to go before reaching that nordic standard. You need a critical mass of a group of people who can see the benefit of democratic values.

“Secret society members are aware of the CLTPA, and it helps us keep them at bay,” said Inspector Eric Toh, an investigation officer with a decade’s work at the SPF’s Secret Societies Branch. “If not, they will cause much more problems; and influence much more people to join their gangs.



https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/si ... es-9933974

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 13 Feb 2018 2:17 am

USA, despite being the beacon of democracy and the good-hearted and noble-minded people they are, has unfortunately allowed a small segment of its community to fall thru the cracks and not hold them accountable. The big businesses and the executives helming these business empires. Overtime, they have turned into this big machinery that overlooked the very people (customers ) that they are supposed to serve. It turns into a game that is mostly about the bottomline, benefitting your shareholders and lining the pockets of its officers. That is what happens when we take out the human element.

American companies have one of the largest intra-company pay gap, between the lowest and its highest paid employees within the same company.

Koehn adds that these executives are “operating in a system that presumes the contribution of a good senior executive is very, very high.” But as we have seen from Cooper’s study, the evidence points to the contrary – “the more CEOs get paid, the worse their companies do over the next three years.”


Costco and Vanguard are those companies that are thriving despite paying their CEOs a reasonable salary that are not excessive or extreme. In fact, Vanguard's archiac computer system is not keeping up with the flood of new customers. The secret of their success........ they take care of their customers. The very people that they are supposed to serve in the first place. The very reason why they are even in business. It is indeed as simple as that. Life is simple!

And this applies across the board. Not just to business organizations. The very same reason why the British crown survives while other monarchy had been overthrown. Their motto is "to serve".

Serving others does indeed has a practical root. It is through serving others that we ensure our own survival and viability :D . Not to mention, it helps to keep the peace in this world. So that we are not in a constant state of trying to oust the other competition / person out.

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Tue, 13 Feb 2018 3:20 am

But labor unions should take note – the Nordic example where collective bargaining is done for each sector actually helped to increase wages to the highest in the world, but that is because they are democracies.


I can see how this labor union / group bargaining can easily go wrong. Without a democratic backdrop. Where each man/group is for himself. At the expense of those outside the group.

Individualism is defined by Hofstede as, “the extent to which people feel independent, as opposed to being interdependent as members of larger wholes.” Interestingly, East Asian societies have a knack of promoting “Asian values” with an eye to suppressing individualism while claiming that their collectivist cultures entail a willingness to comply to top-down hierarchy and obedience to elders.

But this individualism-collectivism dichotomy might be a mirage indoctrinated into the citizens of the East Asian countries. The Nordics are said to be individualistic and their scores on Hofstede’s scale confirm this notion, but they are at the same time collectivist.


Despite the Koreans and Chinese touting and marketing their own version of collectivism, I find the nordics to be much more community-oriented. And having the ability to see the big picture, how their own individuality is a piece of a larger puzzle, i.e. the group.

And yet, they don't try to turn their collectivism into a selling point. An understated culture.

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Wed, 14 Feb 2018 2:24 am

School reform is a good start. When you build the foundation right.......It is not only about the education system per se. There are several inter-weaving themes in this video. The Finnish education system, that USA once was. I understand it is more complex in USA. Population of 320 million vs 5.5 million. And the former being more diverse in its economic-socio-cultural demographics.

https://www.facebook.com/BeRemarkable2/ ... 5lbQfcPjRs

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Re: The Bitter Truth

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 18 Feb 2018 3:06 am

Note the liberal use of the word "nonviolent". As in the democratic concept of peaceful transition of power. In this case from the 1% to the general population. No chart being used here. Just plain ole narrative of the history of a nation, cogent thoughts and analysis.

"One percent! Can do so much harm! Why? Because 99 percent allow it!"

Until we stop our own worship of money and power.


https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles ... 1-percent/


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